How It All Happened
At the age of 13, I experienced the Iranian Revolution. In what felt like a blink of an eye, I was forced to leave my country, my community, my friends and everything that I identified with and was a part of, with one suitcase. That was in 1978.
Having lost everything, person, and my sense of what was real and not, the only thing I could think of was “how am I going to survive”? I moved to England with my mom, and could not wait to start making money, so that I could become independent and self-sufficient. I graduated from high school at the age of 16 and moved to the US on my own to go to college. I graduated college at the age of 19 and started working.
So what happened to all those care-free teenage years that I was supposed to enjoy, to explore what I wanted to do in life, to go to prom, to hang out with friends, to travel, to gain new experiences? They were spent studying, working, and being a responsible “adult”. Those are years I will never be able to get back or re-live.
Not everyone needs to go through a revolution to experience the social and emotional challenges and distress that come up during the teenage years….all teenagers experience these in one way or another…. and I was no exception….loneliness, anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, lack of self-awareness, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, unhealthy relationships, bad habits, irresponsible decision-making. You get the picture.
Did you get support as a teenager? Did your school or community offer you guidance that helped you deal with your social and emotional life, and the interpersonal challenges you faced with other people? Did your school or community provide you with financial know-how or skills-based education on how to choose your best career path that could align with your strengths, your interests and your financial earning capacity?
Once I looked back, I saw that I did not get any of this guidance, education or support. I also noticed that no one else I knew had access to, or received this kind of support either! And I definitely saw the negative impacts because of this void.
For me, this meant is that I chose career paths that led to my dissatisfaction, burnout, aimlessness, and even at times, depression. My natural passion and intelligence weren’t getting utilized in ways where felt like I was making a contribution or work that gave me a sense of meaning, health and fulfillment.
If you haven’t had this experience yourself, you might know people who struggled to find their place personally, professionally, and financially. And you probably can see what a huge impact this has had on their self-esteem and motivation, and in the extreme, even on their ability to function and survive as an adult.
But career and money are not the only things that create a meaningful and productive future life. In fact, research shows that our emotional life and our relationships often determine even more of our sense of well-being, health, satisfaction and happiness in life.
I didn’t get anything in 12 years of school and in 4 years of college about developing a healthy emotional life or the skills for building and maintaining better relationships at home and at work.
I also saw looking back that I didn’t receive guidance on how to make empowered decisions that were aligned with my values, my goals and my purpose. I didn’t even know what my values, goals and purpose were in many cases!
So, in 2017, I left my job as a Human Resources Director for a non-profit, to create MAPPS, a program for Mentoring Adolescents & Adults for Personal and Professional Success. At its core, the MAPPS Program provides a fun, enlightening and curated emotional, social, and career/financial development space and learning journey. We have supported individuals, schools, creative small businesses as well as local communities in the development of actionable pathways to Increased Clarity, More Self-Awareness, Effective Self-Management, Better Decision Making, Relationship Skill Building and Teamwork, and Resilience.
The majority of my education has come from the life that I have led and the experiences that I’ve had….which in turn have gifted me with the values and goals that have been the foundation of how I move in the world and what I do for work. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a formal education, I have a BA in Broadcasting with a minor in Journalism, and I’m also a Licensed Human Element Practitioner, and a Licensed Practitioner of a program called The Implicit Career Search. Combined these 2 practices have been in existence for more than 50 years, and today continue to be practiced by people like myself all over the world. And my informal education has been my career and life. A career that has spanned the spectrum, from book publishing, to high tech, from HR to starting up my own business at the age of 52.
For the past 6 years I have devoted my life to creating programs to help people strengthen their innate human potential and experience personal and professional transformation. I do this by offering up Actionable Intelligence tools that can help manifest inner change. These tools are designed to provide an opportunity to experience forward motion in stagnant or stuck areas.
I invite you to listen to my podcast and to consider scheduling a call with me.
BRINGING SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLNESS TO OUR COMMUNITY and providing an environment where people can come for self-care and wellness and for making connections with like-minded others.